Monday, February 29, 2016

A Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan

Have you ever lost something that you really needed and you look and look but it is nowhere to be found , but the second that you stop looking for it you find it in the most obvious place?
That is what happened with this book. I thought that I put it on the shelf but when I went to read it, It had disappeared!  After searching my room for it all day, my sister discovered it pushed to the back with the pages toward the front. It was on the book shelf the whole time! I just overlooked it.  Isn't that how life is sometimes? We look everywhere for God's blessings and we never find them but if we stop looking and just sit back then we see his blessings all around us. Our families, job, friends, Church even our food is a blessing. Well anyway I just finished reading my latest must read book called  A Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan. It is the story of Rachel Matthews a homeless girl who has taken a job as a "dance girl" at a Saloon and  John McIntyre who is a Cattle baron. When John gets a letter from his best friend Preston saying that his sister Rachel is in trouble, John sets out to rescue the damsel in distress. However his rescue efforts were almost ruined when he picks up the wrong girl. Finally when John locates Rachel he takes her to his home to live with his Grandmother and himself until she can find somewhere to live . Despite her protests about the way that John "saved" her she is grateful that he wanted to help her even though she is a stranger and finds herself blessed to have a place to live and to be away from that horrible place. She never was comprised or taken advantage  of at the Saloon but it was getting worse and worse to be there every time she came in.  Grandmother Estelle knows that Rachel was sent by God to be the answer to her prayers. Finally if her grandson John can open his eyes, he will see that Rachel is the perfect girl for him to marry, but she is worried that his greed for land and cattle will blind him to what is right in front of him. What follows is craziness. Rachel gets a job at Grandmother Estelle's shop where she has to handle some difficult customer's such as Vera and Bernice Spencer who are rich and spoiled.  John is trying to buy more land and get his cattle herds to grow. Everything seems to be going well until sickness strikes both John and his Grandmother Estelle. With everything on the balance will John survive the severe case of pneumonia he contracted? Or will he finally realize that his treasures should not be stored here but in heaven.  Guess you will have to read the book to find out!

So what did I think about the book? 
I thought that the book was so sweet!  The characters John and Rachel are great. Rachel is very self reliant and does not want to let anyone help her , but she finally learns to trust people again and John is a little greedy, Which was not a bad thing but all he cares about was getting more land and more cattle. But Rachel helped John to see that there are more things in life then wealth or land and John and his Grandmother Estelle show Rachel that even though her family is gone,  God was still there and he cared what happens  to her
The book did not have much action  but the plot and the storyline was enough to keep you engaged in the story until the very end.   It is the second book in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series but I read it as a stand alone.  Overall I give the book 5 0ut of 5 Stars.  *****

Don't forget to check out some of her other books, I have read a few and they are great! 

Happy Reading :)

I would like to thank Revell , A division of Baker Publishing Group for allowing me to review this book in exchange for a free copy, I was not required to write a favorable review, just an honest one.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Risen by Angela Hunt

So late August 2015 I went to my local movie theater and I saw a trailer for the movie Risen coming out in February 2016. I was so excited because the trailer looked really good, So when I had the opportunity to review the book for the publisher, I was thrilled!
It is the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ ( in the book he is called by his Hebrew name Yeshua ) but as seen through the eyes of two unbelievers. One is Clavius, A Tribune for the Roman army. The second is Rachel,  A Jewish widow who is finding herself wandering from the Jewish faith. One day during the Passover feast Rachel is drawn by a crowd  that were watching something on the street. She managed to elbow her way to the front of the crowd and was shocked to see a procession of three criminals set to be crucified. She looked at the three criminals as they went by and was shocked to see the third man barely alive. He looked to have been almost completely beaten to death, He was so weak that he could not carry the cross beam that would be nailed to form the cross he was to be executed on. What surprised her the most was that when he looked at her, she did not see hate or anger in his eyes like she had seen on the two previous criminals. She saw love and such a raw, shattering pain that moved her heart.  She is not sure what led her but she follow the procession up to a hill called Golgotha where all of the crucifixions are done... Clavius is assigned to oversee the execution of a so called Nazarene king.  He has done many crucifixions before so he did not think this would be any different. When he arrived at Golgotha, The "king" was already dead. Just to make sure that he was indeed dead. Clavius had a soldier stick a spear into the Nazarene's side and  when blood and water flowed Clavius confirmed the Nazarene was dead.  He wanted to make sure that the job was finished so he watched as they took the Nazarene's body off the cross and followed to make sure that it was buried... Rachel knew that she would be stoned if her people knew that she was seeing a Roman soldier, Especially since she was not married to him and he was a gentile. But anytime she saw Clavius she felt loved and cherished. She knew that they would never be able to be together because they come from two different worlds but still, she looked forward to his visits...  Clavius was summoned to Pilate's palace the morning after the crucifixion and told to make sure that the Nazarene's body was in the tomb and to put guards there to stand guard  for about three days because the Pharisee leaders were afraid that Jesus disciples would come and steal the body and claim that he had risen from the dead.
Clavius put guards at the tomb and  verified that Nazarene's body was buried in the tomb.  Three days after he had  crucified the Nazarene, He was summoned by Pilate and was told that the body of the Nazarene had disappeared. The guards said that the body was stolen by the Nazarene's rabid disciples but when Clavius was able to question them further he discovered they were lying about certain details.  Clavius is tasked with finding the body of Yeshua.  As he investigates Yeshua and His followers, he finds himself drawn to find out just what happened... Rachel is intrigued by this man called Yeshua. She watched him die and she has heard that he is alive again... Will Clavius find the body of Yeshua ? Who will Rachel decide to follow, Clavius and his roman gods or Yeshua?  Guess you will have to read it ( or watch the movie) to find out!

So what did I think about the book? 
I thought that the book was good. It was very unique to see the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus through the eyes of people that did not know who he was.  The Bible story parts (The crucifixion, resurrection,  ascension, etc...  were accurate except that they added the main characters to the stories but the Author does include a note in the back of the book that describes what was fiction and what was not.  There is not much violence in the book except the part where they capture Barabbas but there was nothing graphic.   Rachel and Clavius have a secret relationship but there is absolutely nothing said or written besides an occasional kiss and she often is in his arms during their time together ( mostly they just talk). Overall I like the book and would like to go see the movie.  I rate the book  3 out of 5 stars *****

If you would like to check out this book or some of her other writing you can check them out at :

Happy Reading :)

I would like to thank Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was not asked to write a favorable review, Just a honest one. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Always Watching by Lynette Eason

Remember that snow that I mentioned in my previous post? Well we did get some of it, we got about 4 inches  :)  So what does being snowed in mean? It means that I have plenty of time to read!  So I just finished reading a thrilling new novel by Lynette Eason called "Always Watching". It is the story of Olivia Edwards who is the owner/operator of a Bodyguard Agency. When Maddy, a Bodyguard and friend of Olivia's is attacked while watching a client (Wade Savage) and is nearly killed, Olivia decides that it is time to step in.
Wade Savage is a popular psychiatrist and radio personality who unfortunately has attracted the attention of a stalker. The Stalker has been sending Wade gifts like his favorite chocolate, concert tickets and expensive jersey's from his favorite baseball team for both him and his daughter, Amy.  The creepy part? They were the exact sizes that Wade and his daughter wear!  When Wade goes on his radio show and angers the stalker, things go from bad to worse. The stalker, who is now angry, targets Wade by attacking him in the parking lot.  When he wakes up in the hospital, unsure of how he got there, he discovers that he was found in the parking lot by his new bodyguard Olivia. Wade does not like the fact that he has a bodyguard but since his father hired them, he can't do anything to get rid of them . As Olivia and Wade spend time with each other, They both begin to feel an attraction toward each other but are both too guarded because of past circumstances to allow the other to get too close. As Olivia is wrestling with the feelings she feels toward Wade,  The Stalker starts getting bolder on her attacks, Wade's radio station is bombed , Amy almost gets kidnapped and Olivia is almost killed in a house fire. Olivia is determined to protect Wade at all cost and capture the one who is threatening him but with the Stalker getting close, Will Olivia be able to protect Wade and his daughter?
Guess you have to read it to find out!

So what did I think about the book? 
I thought that the book was good, Very different from what I have read before. It was like watching a Criminal drama on TV, like Blue Bloods or  Person of  Interest. The plot was so interesting that you eagerly turn the page just to see what will happen. I was a little creeped out by some of the things that the Stalker did but nothing was told in graphic detail. The characters were well thought out and I was surprised by the ending. Overall I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a  nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat  Romantic Suspense novel.  I rate the book 4 out of 5 stars. ****

If you would like to check out any of Lynette Eason's books, Here is the link

Happy Reading :)

 I would like to thank Revell , A division of Baker Publishing Group for allowing me to review this book in exchange for a free copy, I was not required to write a favorable review, just an honest one.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Hannah's Choice by Jan Drexler

What's Up?  For me, it is snow ( I hope)  Yes, they are forecasting snow this Valentines Weekend where I live . So if you want to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and a new book , Here is one you can check out! It is  the newest book by Jan Drexler called Hannah's Choice. It is the story of Hannah Yoder, a young Amish girl who lives on the banks of the Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County.  Her life appears to be calm and peaceful but problems lie under the surface.  Her mother has suffered severe depression ever since an illness took the lives of her three youngest children. Her sister Liesbet is dating ( secretly ) an outsider and is rebelling against the Amish faith, and her father is worried about his children.  Hannah's best friend and neighbor Adam Metzler had been in love with her ever since they were kids and has asked for her hand in marriage , The only problem was she was Amish and he was Mennonite. They did not believe the same thing, And if Hannah were to marry Adam, She would be shunned by her family and her community.  One day some farmers came and told her father about several Amish families who were moving west to Indiana and Ohio. They told them about the communities that were being set up with just Amish families, A place where Outsiders were not your neighbors, A place where Amish children would not be influenced by the ways of  the world.  After much thought Hannah's mother and father decide to move west, They just have to wait until spring. Hannah is torn between staying with her family and staying in her childhood home.  Josef  Bender was one of the two farmers that told Hannah's family about moving west. As soon as he saw Hannah it was love at first sight. He just could not keep his eyes off of her. She was absolutely beautiful and he could see that she had a kind and generous spirit. So he decided that he was going to ask Hannah to marry him and they would go west and start a family.  Hannah is now stuck between her best friend Adam, who is a sweet and caring friend, who will guarantee that she will get to stay by her beloved Conestoga Creek,  but is Mennonite and  involved in some dangerous activities and Josef, who is Amish, seems perfect  (except for a little bit strict) and promises a new life and adventure in the west.  Will Hannah be able to choose between her best friend and the boy she just met?
Guess you will have to read it to find out!

So what did I think about the book? 
I think that the author did a great job writing the book,  She made the characters seem real, You could almost feel the heartbreak that Hannah's mom felt about losing her three children, the guilt that Hannah had hidden in her heart for years and the joy that is felt at the end of the book when Hannah decides who she will marry. ( Yes, Spoiler alert she marries____________) Overall I enjoyed the book very much and will have to check out Book 2 when it comes out later this year.
 I rate the book 4 out of 5 stars****

If you would like to check out more of Mrs Drexler's books, Just click on the link below for more info!

Happy Reading :)

 I would like to thank Revell , A division of Baker Publishing Group for allowing me to review this book in exchange for a free copy, I was not required to write a favorable review, just an honest one.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I was Blind (Dating), But Now I See by Stephanie Rische

So I just finished reading   "I was blind (dating) But now I see" by Stephanie Rische. It is the story of the author's misadventures in dating, waiting and finally stumbling into love.  At the beginning of the story, Stephanie is in her early twenties and is watching everyone around her  date, get married and have a family. Even her  younger sibling! She was starting to feel invisible.  She was tired of being alone and wanted someone to be by her side every moment for the rest of her life. So she prayed for God to send the right man along and she made a checklist for the perfect husband. So when a friend of her family called and said that she had found "the perfect guy" and had set up a blind date ( or a blond date according to her younger friend Nhu)for Stephanie. Stephanie was both excited and nervous because she had never been on a blind date before and she did not know what to expect. Finally her date showed up, ( he was late) and they spent a very awkward hour together. They both found out that they were not right for each other.  Stephanie goes on to tell about seven other blind dates, like the "Limo Dude", "The Linebacker" and "Mr. Paper Perfect". All of which had their good qualities but unfortunately none of them were  right for her.  Throughout the book Stephanie learns about hope, love, prayer and God's grace and how all she needed to do to see them... was open her eyes.

What did I think of the book?
I have to say that when I received this book I was honestly worried about reading it. First. It was a non-fiction book and all the books that I ever read are fiction. Two. I am not really into romance novels or talking about dating, so I was worried that I really would have a hard time reading it. But I have to say that I really enjoyed the book. Her story was so well written that you felt the sadness that she felt every time she felt alone, When all of her friends were getting married and she was their bridesmaid ( 3 weddings in 1 summer, Really?!! ) and When her roommate got married and moved out or her younger sister got engaged.  I liked how she described all of the blind dates in such detail that you actually feel like you were watching it like a movie. But I especially liked the humor that Mrs. Stephanie put in her story.  Overall I would rate the book 4 out of 5 stars. ****

If you would like to check out Mrs Stephanie's other writings, you can find them on her website,
just click the link below!

Happy Reading :)

 I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was not asked to write a favorable review, Just a honest one.